Monday, June 28, 2010

Carter and Madcap Falls

After my morning hike first in snow and then along a road to return to the Narada Falls parking area, I was ready for a snow free hike, so I headed back towards Longmire and lower elevations. Near the Cougar Rock Campground was the trailhead to Carter and Madcap Falls on the Paradise River. This hike was very easy to follow and was mostly along the Wonderland Trail, and gained about 650 feet during its mile and a half one way ascent.

From the trailhead of the hike, I dropped a short way down to the stony wide banks of the Nisqually River that were created from flood stage. The river itself was crossed by walking over a fairly new split log bridge, the last one having been swept away in a flood.
The cold glacier river swept just under the log and, with its speed, was mesmerizing during the crossing. Majestic Mount Rainier was on full display upriver, the melt-water of the Nisqually Glacier forming the speedy river.
Upon crossing the river I climbed into the woods, and joined the Wonderland Trail, which climbed steadily but not steeply through the pretty woods along the Paradise River.
The hike itself was fairly uneventful as far as wildlife, although there were some pretty big trees along the way,
as well as some pretty flowers, like this trilliam.
The scenery past the river was beautiful as I hiked,
and after about 1.3 miles I came to the first big waterfall, Carter Falls. There were a number of hikers out there enjoying the woods and the falls.
From there, it was supposed to be 0.3 miles to Madcap Falls. I could hear it but not see it, and finally turned around after going about a half mile. On the walk back to Carter, I suddenly came on a large waterfall right near the trail – Madcap Falls! I snapped a photo, and realized that it was only 0.1 from Carter Falls. I had walked right by it, expecting it to be further along and thus not alert for it. Although as loud and close as it was, I must have been sleepwalking.I retraced my steps to return to the car, then decided to visit the Jackson Visitor Center, and after that, to drive towards the east and see some new areas.


  1. Great series Art! Really beautiful!!!!

  2. Incredible pictures. What unique bridges!
    I particularly like the box canyon photos. That must have been so cool looking so far down!!

  3. Thanks Anne. It really is gorgeous there.

  4. Thanks Karen. The box canyon was really unique. Every place I went there was such beauty.